FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Saturday 27 September 2014 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson, Gallinagh (c), Ball, Keary, Kington, Watkins, Adelsbury, Pratt, McCootie (Patten 73), Hemmings (Stearn 82). subs not used: Rollo, Bowman.
|man of the match:
||D Eaton, J Ainscow, D Lamport
|league position: n/a
||next match: Poole Town (FAC) (A)
When the dust has settled on this FA Cup tie, and especially should Bath City lose their midweek replay at Poole Town, the management and team will undoubtedly look at this as the one that got away.
Leading through Ashley Kington’s solitary goal in the 90th minute all the higher-division hosts had to do was run the clock down. Yet that was what lamentably failed to occur.
A needless foul conceded by Dan Ball some 30 yards out on Poole’s right saw Mike Gosney put the ball into the box from the free-kick.
Jason Mellor rose for the catch and collected, only for the ball to bounce from his grasp as he came to ground. From then on it was chaos.
The ball came back into the box. This time Mellor attempted to punch it clear, but did not get any distance and eventually, through a melee of players, Marvin Brookes gained the vital goal for the Dolphins, heading home just inches from the line.
However, as Britton commented post-match: “After we scored we had two or three really good chances to put the game away, but if you don’t do that you can see what happens.”
While City did have their chances - none better than a 67th-minute Dave Pratt header from Nick McCootie’s cross which came within a hairs breadth of keeper Nick Hutchings’ right-hand post, in truth a draw was probably a fair result against the Southern Premier Division’s undefeated leaders.
Yet much of this match was eminently forgettable. In the first half City looked to have lost all of the zip and energy they possessed against Eastbourne Borough the previous week.
McCootie failed to offer the same potent threat, while Chas Hemmings simply looked lost for much of the first half, pulling out of tackles and missing the ball when he was often the closest player.
Consequently Town prospered amidst such lethargy. As early as the fourth minute Gosney had a shot blocked by Ball, followed by Mellor falling well on a follow up effort from Luke Burbidge. They later went close from a corner when lofty defender Michael Walker headed just wide.
City’s best chances of the first period mainly fell to McCootie. On 20 minutes he battled his way past Lewis Tallack and Mark Jermyn, only to put his shot from 25 yards just wide. Quarter of an hour later he chased a ball into the goal area, coming close to snatching it from Hutchings’ outstretched grasp.
Yet these were sporadic incidents amongst a half where both sides looked to be lacking in energy and cup-tie passion.
The second half was a different story. Just four minutes after the restart McCootie found a yard of space before playing the ball out to Watkins, his cross was only half cleared and Kington fired home for his first City goal.
From then on the home side looked strong. McCootie fired over the crossbar before being substituted, Pratt managed to rob Hutchings, who had prematurely shot off his line, only for his chip to go wide, plus the header just a few minutes later that went wide.
Town, however, threw caution to the wind and moved to a four-man front line.
Whisken saw a header come back off the upright and substitute Carl Preston put a shot wide when it looked easier to score.
Suddenly, it was end-to-end stuff. On 74 minutes a rejuvenated Hemmings, after good work by Kington and a cross from Pratt, put his header wide of the goal. Six minutes later he then went much closer as Kington, Simpson and substitute Kyle Patten put in good work to support him.
But in the end it was Poole who eventually prevailed and they will no doubt feel they are now favourites to progress at Tatnam Farm on Tuesday night.